It may be a very simple idea, but as is often the case with simple ideas, it’s a good one, namely take the groove and grit of blues and give it the scuzzy garage rock treatment. Why not throw in some sweet and drifting harmony vocal whilst you are about it? But it isn’t quite as simple as that, as we know by now the saleability of such a simple and oft visited genre clash is the songs themselves, after all anyone can drive the blues-rock car off of the cliff of convention but the art is ending up with something which is more Thelma and Louise’s dramatic swansong and less a short traffic report on page 7 of the local newspaper.
Thankfully drama is never in short supply here. They join dots between Memphis in 1956, Detroit in 1969, New York in 1977 and Manchester 1995 and at a time when “rock” has become polished, defined, packaged and refined to within an inch of its skinny-jeaned and complicated hair-styled life, maybe it is time to turn back to “rock and roll” for our kicks. There is no denying that underneath all the jagged edges, Brit-pop poise and punk rock sonic poses, that is essentially what this is.
It’s elemental; it’s out of control but just enough in check, it’s savage, stroppy, sweet and sour, and slightly silly…but never a joke. Rock and roll is serious business and it looks like it is back on the menu.